We’re Ba-ack!

We’re home! We made it. A little worse for wear and without our luggage, but home nonetheless. How to write a post that encompasses the last 3 weeks? It’s impossible. So, here are some random things:

  • New Zealand is awesome. Getting there is not.
  • Right now in NZ the summer is waning into autumn, which means that we had perfectly perfect weather. The kind of weather where you can be outside all day in a t-shirt without being too hot or too cold. I can’t tell you the temperatures, because they’re in Celsius and therefore meaningless to me. It was warm enough for the beach, but not quite warm enough to swim, which did not stop the male members of my family from doing so.
  • We spent a lot of our time on the road visiting with old friends and family. New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful and the kids couldn’t possibly give a smaller crap about the scenery. They can’t be bothered to look up from their Leapsters to take in the view, no matter that the view may be from a death-defying perch on a twisty narrow road overlooking the sea, sheep-dotted hills, and snow-capped mountains.
  • For us, driving in New Zealand is a 2-man job. 1 person actually operates the vehicle, and the other sits shotgun reminding the driver to stay on the left-hand side of the road.
  • On long haul flights children do not sleep. On short flights those same children fall into the soundest sleep possible and need to be roused upon landing. Of course, this sleep pattern is unexpected, no matter how many times it happens, so the children are not outfitted with the necessary pull-up on those short flights. Did S pee a full bladder’s worth on two separate occasions in her plane’s seat? Yes, yes she did.
  • Children will ask “are we there yet?” and “are we in the sky yet?” before the plane has taxied away from the terminal.
  • When asked what his favorite part of New Zealand was, L will say that it was playing on my iPad on the planes.
  • Thanks to my mother-in-law, T and I were able to spend more time alone together than we have in years.
  • Despite being told prior to our sea kayaking outing that we will either encounter a hundred dolphins or none, T and I saw one dolphin. Considering that dolphins are social creatures and generally are not found alone, we figured this dolphin is probably a real jackass.
  • Unlike their sleepy adult counterparts, when children experience jet lag, they want to be awake. They act like crazy amped-up maniacs and cry every 5-10 minutes from 11:30 PM to 3:30 AM. In related news, I experienced no small joy when I got to wake my sleeping cherubs up this morning. It was a lights on, blankets ripped off kind of experience for them.

So there you have it. I’m back online and happy to be here. I’m exhausted and in Xanax detox. I still don’t have my luggage.


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Day 1 of Nana’s Visit – A Win!

Nana, my mother-in-law, arrived Friday evening and I was uncharacteristically relaxed – my house was clean beyond reproach and my kids were asleep, therefore behaving. It’s a good start.

The kids were thrilled to see Nana in the morning. L was beside himself with excitement. S probably didn’t remember her, but was as happy to see her as she is to see everyone. I got to sleep in until 7:30 (some sleep-in!), T made coffee and everything in the house was peaceful.

T and I immediately took advantage of the situation and went out to run errands alone. (This was more exciting to us than it sounds, and possibly more exciting than it ought to be.) Later, while S napped and Nana and T did yard work*, I got to take L to the local town fair.

*Yard work = leveling a huge swath of our backyard for an 18 foot diameter above ground pool. This is hard work and I got to miss a few hours of it. Horay!

L and I often have “special time” together, and it usually sucks due to a combination of my too-high-expectations and his too-low-acceptable-behavior-bar. But this time was different. L was still in a great mood because of Nana’s arrival, and we were going to a fair. What would have probably been a combination to create an overstimulated nightmare a year ago, was a perfect combo for a one-in-a-million awesomely perfect, tantrum and strife free outing with L.

It rained the whole time we were there. We rode The Scrambler and had belly laughs like we never had before. Several rides later, we shared a caramel apple and L won a teddy bear who he creatively named Teddy. It was a sitcom/movie-montage type of outing. I never get outings like this. I got to relish all that is fun and awesome and wonderful about my little 4-year-old L.

A total win of a day all made possible by Nana’s visit. A win!

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

I’ve written before about L’s funny conversations with Nana. The combination of his toddler-speak and her accent makes for a total communication breakdown that neither of them seems to mind or notice. As I’m often the only person in the room who understands both of them, I am witness to so many strange conversations, and I marvel that they seem to get by without full-time translators.

According to L’s pronunciation, many words begin with the letter B. He’s not excited, he’s becited. When he wants to interrupt, he says “bescuse me.” He bemembers things rather than remembers. He loves to eat bessert and his favorite vegetable is bematoes.

It’s been a little while since Nana left, but I guess she was on L’s mind. Out of nowhere L said this to me in the car, and it made me laugh out loud:

“Some people, like you and me, say bemato. But did you know that other people say tom-aaah-to?” The latter said with exaggerated fake English-ish accent, and perfect enunciated T’s.

Maybe you had to be there…

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